White noise is a positive sleep association. It’s something you can give to a babysitter, take on an aeroplane, take to a hotel. It’s not something that requires someone to do something really specific that can’t be simulated by someone else. White noise is totally fine as a sleep cue.
Adults have a sleep association too and that’s our pillow. We would find it really hard to go to sleep without a pillow. We’d eventually get used to it, but we’d prefer to have a pillow. That’s not a bad thing because everywhere we go that we’re expected to sleep has pillows.
I wouldn’t be trying to wean baby off it at all. In fact, in America, plenty of adults go to sleep with white noise because it’s to drown out the sounds of the very densely populated cities outside. It’s really not unusual in other countries for people to use white noise even as adults.
I have a lot of parents who have previously had their baby sleeping in their room and so they’ve had the rain or the ocean sounds. Then once their baby goes and sleeps in their own nursery, the parents still prefer to have the white noise on because they’re hooked. It’s totally fine. I wouldn’t be trying to wean baby off it at all.
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